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Tuscola City Council moves forward with outdoor dining

By Kendra Hennis 
The meeting of the Tuscola City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. Due to the shelter-in-place order in effect until May 29, the meeting was held via GoToMeeting, all council members were present.

With Illinois moving into phase 3 of the Reopen Illinois plan, the town is allowed to let restaurants and bars begin opening their outside seating. Mayor Kleiss, City Administrator Drew Hoel, and Fire Chief Brian Moody began meeting with downtown Tuscola businesses earlier last week to develop a plan of how to safely and efficiently open up the downtown restaurants to allow for an outdoor dining space. They noted that currently there was an issue of space allowed for the seating, but that they have expanded to use some other alleys and parking lots in the area to aid in that. They also planned to talk to remaining Tuscola businesses to see if there was anything that they could help with in their reopening process. 

The council then discussed the service agreement for residential and small commercial retail customers who choose not to opt out of the program. In 2012 the town moved to a municipal electric aggregation system, which allows customers to have a different option than just those allowed by their electric supplier. There was a recommendation, that the board voted in agreement with to end with, the current supplier, Good Energy. The board then voted to begin an agreement with Stone River Group. All Tuscola residents will be mailed a letter for how to opt out if you do not wish to be a part of the agreement. 

The council also:

* Approved the minutes from the May 11 regular board meeting. 

* Approved the March and April 2020 financial report. 

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $149,280.77.

* Approved resolution for maintenance under the Illinois Highway Code in the amount of $52,875.

* Approved an agreement with Power Grid Partners in the amount of $67,000.

* Approved the purchase of $30,288.48 for a replacement truck for Fire Chief Brian Moody. 

* Approved a lease for the pool concession area, being Gina Romine with Tropical Sno. 

* Approved the extension of the TCED Funding Agreement 

* Adjourned until the June 8 regular board meeting.

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